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Imagining the End: Political Engagement of Armenian Intellectuals in Occupied Istanbul (1918-1922)
This paper analyzes the role of the Armenian intellectuals in the reformation of Armenian socio-political life in Istanbul during the Armistice period. The paper demonstrates how the Armenian intellectuals shaped the public opinion through their publications in the Armenian press at a time when political chaos, change and power vacuum severely affected the general Ottoman public opinion. The major argument the paper puts forward is that, while both leftist, liberal and conservative Armenian intellectuals advocated the establishment of an independent Armenian state during the first two years of Armistice period (1918-1920), following the results of the Turkish-Armenian War in the Caucasus, the Greco-Turkish War in western Anatolia, and the retreat of the French from the Cilicia region, the majority of them moderated their discourses to avoid being the target of political pressure imposed by the emerging Turkish national movement. Benefiting from primary sources, including Ottoman Armenian and Ottoman Turkish newspapers and the memoirs of Armenian intellectuals, this paper focuses on a unique period in the history of Ottoman Armenians, and thus contributes to the historiography on the Armistice period.
Geographic Area
Ottoman Empire
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